Marchers decry pipeline expansion through B.C.

Several hundred people marched through Fort Langley Saturday to oppose the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline that runs through Langley.

Organized by groups including the Pipe Up Network and the Kwantlen First Nation, the march headed from the Kwantlen reserve to the Fort Langley Community Hall.

The march paused in the center of the Jacob Haldi Bridge that connects MacMillan Island to the village of Fort Langley. Above the Fraser River, Kwantlen members drummed and sang before the march continued.

“We must protect the beautiful and bountiful land that has sustained us for thousands of years,” said Brandon Gabriel, one of the key organizers.

Gabriel, a member of the Kwantlen First Nation, mentioned the environmental damage seen recently from a spill of bunker fuel from a ship near Vancouver. That oil has been washing up in English Bay, and Vancouver and B.C. politicians have been highly critical of federal response to contain the spill.

Fears over spills are one reason why the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline by Kinder Morgan has been controversial. The expansion would almost triple the amount of Alberta oil flowing through B.C.

A stretch of the pipeline passes through Langley on its way to a Burnaby oil refinery, from which some of it is pumped onto ships.

The expansion could also result in the pipeline being moved. Some lengths of the pipe might be moved near different neighbourhoods, parks, and through farms in the Fort Langley and Walnut Grove areas.

Gabriel said Saturday’s event is the first time he can remember the Kwantlen First Nation marching for their rights, and the first that the nation’s elders can remember.

While Gabriel spoke about the history of native peoples being held back socially and economically, the pipeline fight brings them together with their neighbours.

“We stand here united as one community to fight a common enemy,” Gabriel said.

Other speakers included Langley Township councillor Petrina Arnason, who talked about the dangers of global warming.

“As a society, we can and must do more to ensure our collective future,” she said.

Carleen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation works for the Sacred Trust Initiative, which has been opposing the Trans Mountain expansion for years.

She described the tactics of Kinder Morgan, the company that owns the pipeline, as “bullying,” and called the National Energy Board process vetting the pipeline “a farce.”

“We’re saying, enough is enough,” she said.

Kinder Morgan has argued that the number of spills ever caused by the existing pipeline, in operation since the early 1960s, has been minimal. The company will be responsible for cleaning up any spills that do occur.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Cloverdale hockey parents, players rally against mayor’s plan to postpone arena

The future Cloverdale arena is one of many projects set to be delayed in Surrey’s draft budget

Kazakhstan National Team skates with young players in Langley

Pre-teens take drills with World Junior Hockey Championships competitor

Langley woman directs popular gospel concert

Gail Suderman’s Good Noise gospel choir’s first three shows are sold-out.

Kim’s Angels return to fill ambulance for needy in Langley

The annual charity will see donors pack an ambulance with food, clothing, and baby supplies.

Christmas cheer for 400 in Aldergrove

Shortreed Elementary School hosts breakfast with Santa

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Family calls for change after death of B.C. man at St. Paul’s Hospital

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Most Read